Land Rover Discovery new design
MUCH like the Range Rover Sport, the new Discovery Sport is a smaller and faster version of a car that wears a similar name. It has an all-new design that is very similar to the Discovery Vision Concept that bowed earlier this year. The new model is loaded to the gills with new technology, and it features some of the nicest design touches ever fitted to a Discovery.
To make the most of this new, stylish shell, the engine and modern nine-speed ZF automatic transmission from the Range Rover Evoqueare combined with an advanced AWD system to create a dynamic and capable machine.
The outside looks great, but most of the magic of the new Discovery Sport happens on the inside. Thanks to what can only be described as engineering witchcraft, the Discovery Sport has a compact exterior footprint that is similar to most five-seat competitor, but Land Rover has been able to cram an extra set of seats in the back to create a three-row 5+2 seating arrangement. If you are familiar with the 2+2 nomenclature from some sport coupes you will understand that those back seats are really only for children, but it is still amazing that Land Rover was able to fit them in at all.
Powering the Discovery Sport will be the same turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that is under the hood of the Evoque. That means there will be 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of twist on tap. This engine will be bolted to the ZF nine-speed automatic transmission, complete with that trick rotating shift knob that rises from the dash. The transmission is setup so that during most situations the car will actually take off in second gear to improve fuel economy, and then there is a very low first gear for slow-speed off-road situations.
A standard Haldex All-Wheel-Drive system helps to keep the new Discovery Sport moving and pointing the right direction even when traction and terrain are less than ideal. The Disco Sport has more than eight-inches of ground clearance, a 25-inch approach angle and can climb slopes as steep as 45-degrees. Like other models in the Land Rover family, the air intake has been mounted high on top of the engine and the doors have robust weather seals to make shallow water crossings an easy affair. The trademark Terrain Response system and Hill Descent Control function are also included as standard.
The Discovery Sport is built on a new platform that is made of futuristic, lightweight materials. High-strength steel and aluminum are combined with an ultra-high-strength boron steel to create a body shell that is very light while being extremely strong and rigid. Most of the body panels that are attached to this structure, like the fenders, hood, roof and tailgate, are all aluminum to reduce weight and lower the center of gravity for improved performance. Other features, like the magnesium crossbeam to increase rigidity, have been borrowed from the Range Rover Evoque. Even many of the suspension components are made from aluminum for reduced weight.
With even the youngest passengers climbing onboard with a smartphone, iPod or other electronic devices, Land Rover has equipped the new Discovery Sport with up to four 12V power points. Three-row models can have as many as six USB charging sockets, allowing multiple electronic devices to be recharged simultaneously.